Melanie Rutten-Sülz appointed new country representative in Germany

As of April 2021, Melanie Rutten-Sülz is Solidaridad’s new country representative in Germany. Rutten-Sülz succeeds Moriz Vohrer, who was instrumental in establishing Solidaridad in Germany in 2018 and is now taking on a leading role at the NGO Ecosystem Value Association, focusing on the establishment of carbon forest standards. He will remain an active part of Solidaridad in Germany as a member of the board.

Melanie Rutten-Sülz

“Solidaridad is an outstanding organization – with its entrepreneurial and innovative mindset and compelling commitment to solidarity and sustainability for farmers globally, for more than 50 years. I am very excited to build on the achievements so far and scale Solidaridad’s footprint, influence and results in Germany,”

says Rutten-Sülz about her new role.

German mandate, global strategy

Rutten-Sülz is responsible for leading Solidaridad’s activities in Germany, with an emphasis on collaborating with businesses, donors and partners, developing and delivering on the strategic goals together with the global network in over 40 countries, and providing leadership to the team. Speaking of Solidaridad’s vision and strategy, Rutten-Sülz says that:

“Solidaridad works towards creating an economy that works for all, supporting farmers and workers globally with sustainable demand, policies and cooperation with businesses and other partners along the supply chains. With its long-term experience, inclusive supply chain approach, global network and impressive number of successful projects, Solidaridad has so much to offer to the diverse stakeholders in Germany.”

Experienced sustainability leader

Melanie Rutten-Sülz has a track record of impactful change with international network organizations, and broad sustainability and sector expertise. She studied Latin American Studies, Economics and International Relations in Cologne, Germany, and Fortaleza, Brazil. Together with GIZ Rutten-Sülz has successfully coordinated the global roundtable on the Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C Code), which has evolved to become the largest multi-stakeholder platform and mainstream sustainability standard in the coffee sector, the 4C Association. As its long-standing Executive Director, she was responsible for stakeholder engagement, strategic communications, policy influencing and multi-stakeholder dialogue. A strong advocate for collaborative action and collective impact for a farmer-centric agenda with retailers, manufacturers, traders, NGOs and governments, Rutten-Sülz co-created the Global Coffee Platform in 2016 by merging with IDH’s Sustainable Coffee Program. 

In addition to her involvement in the coffee sector, she served on the board of the ISEAL alliance, the global alliance of sustainability systems, and is currently an independent honorary director on the board of Bonsucro, the global platform for sustainable sugarcane. Before joining Solidaridad, Rutten-Sülz was Secretary General of Youth For Understanding International where she built the new Global Office and delivered a new global strategy for its 55 member organizations across 6 continents. 

Collaboration and networking

“I am very proud to be part of this unique organization, and to be working together with the German team and global colleagues on implementing the new strategy “Reclaiming Sustainability” in the German context. The work and focus areas of Solidaridad are very close to my heart: to address critical and systemic issues like climate change and persisting poverty and create substantial positive impact for farmers and workers, we need global collaboration, sustainable government policies and socially responsible corporate behaviour. The actors and stakeholders in Germany have an important role and contribution to achieve this. I look forward to growing our network and partnerships with companies, donors and other NGOs to advance our shared goal: a sustainable economic development for the millions of smallholder farmers and workers globally.”

Please visit the website of Solidaridad in Germany to find out more.